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What is Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting?

So you know how if you’re navigating through the big web you always find yourself at places or watching videos you hadn’t looked for?

Well today my searches led me to TED Talks 15 Videos on why educating girls is important.

So here are a few facts on FGM from World Health Organization;

1.Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

2.The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.

3.Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later cysts, infections, as well as complications in childbirth and increased risk of newborn deaths.

4.More than 200 million girls and women alive today have been cut in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where FGM is concentrated.

A fact that the UNICEF FGM/C Report 2016 supports and goes further to mention that out of this 200 million girls, more than half are from just three countries; Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia.

44% of these girls are under 15.

5.FGM is mostly carried out on young girls between infancy and age 15.

6.FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Female genital mutilation has both short term and long term effects on the girl child and even as she grows into a women and it’s not just physical, it is emotional and mental. The reason behind this action by some communities is from a belief that some parts of a women are unclean, male like and a girl is considered “clean” after this.

Other communities believe and use it as a means to control sexual urge and behaviour of women as it is believed it reduces sexual libido and promotes premarital virginity and prevent marital fidelity.

FGM in other communities makes women more “marriageable” and as the girls in these communities are brought up to believe or achieve a certain status if married, and if unmarried they are shunned.

Female Genital Mutilation is an illegal and human right violation in the world and it is even mentioned, in the Sustainable Development Goals which includes a target under Goal 5 to eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and FGM/C, by the year 2030.

But why is there still unsteady progress and decline over the last years since action and strategies have been put in place? Read Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting (UNICEF 2016)

Kenya has for example observed a fast decline in FGM Practice from 41%-11%( 1984-2014) this must surely be the effort of organizations and brave people like Kakenya Ntaiya.

Let’s all get off our comfortable seats and  help change these false myths and perceptions that encourage violations like FGM.

I believe we can do this through education.

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